This Post is 140 Characters too Long

 

If you have been following me on Twitter at any point during my ECMP 455 journey, you will have noticed a common theme in some of my tweets. For those of you who are following me on Twitter, I sincerely apologize that you are subject to my tweets. But I also apologize that you are subject to my blogging, neither can quite be called well-constructed or organized.

Anyway, common theme time in the form of photos I took of two of my tweets:

 

 

Put those together with the title of this post, and I can bet you have a pretty good idea of my relationship with Twitter. My problem with Twitter is not that I don’t like it. And it’s not that I don’t think it is useful.

Here are the things I think Twitter is useful for:

  1. Connecting with educators all over the world
  2. Sharing resources with said educators, asking for advice and insight, and receiving resources back
  3. Bookmarking interesting resources and articles so they are easy to find later
  4. Keeping linked in and connected with the occurrences in the world, based on specific themes, tracked by the use of hashtags
  5. Participating in live collaboration and various #edchats

And I think that all of those factors coupled together make Twitter an interesting and extremely useful concept. As it’s been stated in class and by classmates often, Twitter is very useful professional development, and it is pretty unique in allowing you to connect with people that will help you and are willing to share resources.

I think that all of those feelings and opinions on Twitter have come about in the last little while as I’ve been learning more about Twitter and hearing about how some of my classmates utilize the social media platform. I was always reluctant to see it as useful, because I don’t think it is actually useful for me, and here is where I will tell you why:

  1. I am terrible at talking online. It is honestly one of the most terrifying things to me. I think it’s the permanence of the whole experience. Once I write something, everyone can read it. And what if what I am saying is misconstrued and someone disagrees with me?
  2. I am long winded person. I talk way too much. And while I am working on that in the classroom and as a teacher, I find no real reason to change that about myself in my every day life. Mostly because the people who I surround myself with don’t mind who I am, and so why should I adjust that if it is not harming anyone. The reason I work on it in the classroom is because of time limits and student engagement and involvement. My classroom is not the “Sarah Kirschman Show”.
  3. There was once an argument on Twitter that I was accidentally involved in and it scarred me for life.
  4. Writing a Tweet, between being self-conscious of what it sounds like and 40+ characters over the limit, takes me much longer than I am proud to admit.

So the problem lies in the fact that I have come around on Twitter. I like what it does for people, and I like the idea of connection and collaboration from different places. But I am unable to be a part of the community myself due to crippling fear of judgement and my inability to just-shorten-my-sentences.

The last thing I want to mention is that Twitter was a thing when I was in High School, but it has significantly decreased in popularity in the younger generations. I see Twitter as being useful for teachers to get resources, but not to connect with and educate students because they don’t really use it all that much anymore. In my Internship, I don’t think a single student talked about their Twitter. But I don’t know, maybe some of you had a different experience than me and let me know how you think it’s useful in the classroom?

Well you all have an excellent weekend, stay warm, and here is a picture of the cat I take care of occasionally just to round out this post nicely.

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3 thoughts on “This Post is 140 Characters too Long

  1. You bring up some really interesting points here, Sarah.

    First, I can understand your fear of the “permanence” of the internet. I think in this age of social media, the internet can be a really unforgiving place — one post that is taken out of context and the next thing you know you’re the center of a social-media hate storm. We’re essentially living in a world where ‘forgetting’ is no longer possible because nothing ever really disappears online. That being said, I think it’s important to try to transition to a more forgiving digital world, and we can start by critically evaluating the content that we see online: What was the context of the post? When was it posted? Was it meant to be shared privately or anonymously? Does the post appear to be a one-time thing? I think these are important questions to ask before judging or criticizing a post.

    All that said, I also think it’s important not to let fear keep us from speaking out. I think a lot of young teachers are hesitant to post about personal, social, political, or controversial topics because they don’t want it to impact their careers — they want to remain ‘neutral’. However, when it comes to social justice issues and oppression, if we stay silent in order to protect our image (or whatever the reason) our silence can be deemed as approval.

    I’d also like to touch on your last point about Twitter losing popularity in the younger generations — I totally agree. I used to think that Twitter would be a great tool to use in the classroom with my students, but not so much anymore. I think it’s important to try to incorporate students’ interests, and frankly Twitter is not something students are interested in. At least my students during internship weren’t. I think it’s a great tool for teachers, though!

    Anyways, I really enjoyed reading your post, Sarah. I apologize for this novel-like response — you just gave me a lot to think about!

    • Thanks for the comment Amy! And it’s not too long, don’t worry! I think you had a lot to think about and have given me much more to mull over as well.

      I agree with you on teaching students and others alike to critically analyze statements and determine what was meant and the intention behind posts. But I also feel what’s important with that as well is to help students learn about what to do when it is their post that is getting negative feedback. And how one should handle backlash. Which ties into things like internet bullying and all the issues surrounding the sometimes toxic nature of the internet.

      I agree with you as well on being silent – that not speaking out means that you are being a part of the problem, and not working toward a solution. I would agree, but also posit that I can bring that awareness and passion of social justice to my students through my teaching and what I choose to present in the classroom or in my life as a professional.

      And I can at least talk about my feelings on decolonizing education and Indigenous ways of knowing in my blogs – although I could probably do more to bring that about, most of my lessons and baking tied therein could use some diversity.

  2. Pingback: Twitter: A Great Teacher Tool – Amy Martin

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